For two straight games the Chicago Blackhawks have escaped losing in regulation to the Phoenix Coyotes by pulling goalie Corey Crawford, and getting a solid Brent Seabrook shot on goal from the point.
Seabrook scored with 14.2 second to even it up in Game 1, and then on Saturday night fired a shot that Patrick Sharp re-directed with 5.5 seconds remaining to force overtime. The Coyotes would pull out a 3-2 victory in Game 1, but were not so lucky in Game 2. Bryan Bickell ended the game on an Adrian Aucoin turnover and tied up the series up at 1-1.
The Coyotes will now have to win at least one game at the United Center, where the Blackhawks went 27-8-6 this season, to reclaim a home-ice advantage.
The biggest question for the Coyotes entering Game 3 is the health of Mike Smith. Smith remained in the game after taking a big blow behind the net from Chicago rookie Andrew Shaw, but did not practice Monday before the team took off for Chicago.
It's hard to imagine that that Smith would not play considering he remained in the game Saturday, but Phoenix coach Dave Tippett would not say if he would be available for Tuesday's matchup.
Two other players who remain questionable are center Martin Hanzal and left winger Lauri Korpikoski. Hanzal left Game 2 with an apparent lower-body injury, and Korpikoski headed to the locker room after taking a big hit. Both would have been a big help in the final seconds of Game 2, and would be missed if they did not suit up for Tuesday's game.
Game 3 has the potential to be one of the biggest in franchise history for the Coyotes. The 'Yotes have been the better team in the series, outside of the 19.7 seconds that led to the overtime periods, but will need to put away the game in the third period if they have the lead.
Game time: 6 p.m. MST
TV: CNBC, Fox Sports Arizona Plus
Radio: XTRA SPORTS 910